QUANTICO, Va. — After overcoming a disease with a 50-percent survival rate and moving beyond the stigma of sickness, one young man has finally achieved his dream of becoming a U.S. Marine.
Michael Campofiori told Military.com he started dreaming of becoming a Marine as a child — but being diagnosed with leukemia at 11 was a devastating blow.
While the specific odds vary, the American Cancer Society reports the average survival rate of children with leukemia is somewhere between 50 and 85 percent.
Despite the odds, Campofiori entered remission, leading him to his next step: finding somebody who would run the waiver required by his complicated medical history and allow him to test. Campofiori told Military.com he found that support in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Still, Campofiori had another major obstacle to face: the Crucible.
The Crucible is a grueling 54-hour challenge that tests a recruit’s physical, mental and emotional preparedness. According to Military.com, the exercise allows for eight hours of sleep, limited food and some 40 miles of marching.
He did it.
A tweet from U.S.M.C. Recruiting captured the emotional moment when Campofiori earned the title of U.S. Marine and was awarded his Eagle, Globe and Anchor.
The video of Campofiori has been shared thousands of times, including by Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Sen. John McCain. She said, “Absolutely amazing story. Thank you for your service Michael. Semper Fi!”